As Ali twirled in her new jeans and Cara complemented her and grinned warmly at her I felt a surge of emotions come over me. I was starting to think that the dream was right – it used to be me and Cara who complemented each other’s new attire, me and Cara who went shopping together and nowadays any new clothing never seemed to get noticed by the other.
“What are you doing today then Cara?” I asked her.
“Nothing much I don’t think” she said, a thoughtful expression on her features,
“Cool do you want—“
“Fancy going into town if you’re not doing anything?” Ali interrupted and I scowled at her from behind Cara’s back as I had just been about to ask her whether she fancied going into town and spend some quality ‘best friend’ time together as Leanne was going home mid morning as she had been called into work in the afternoon as her boss had not been able to get cover.
“Urrrrm, yeah Ali that would be cool!” she said positively grinning at Ali, and I struggled to bite back a retort I was longing to throw at Ali. Instead I satisfied myself by grabbing mine and Leanne’s empty mugs and washing them up noisily in the sink along with the various plates and cutlery from the previous night. After I had washed everything up and had stacked them on the draining board I hurried out of the room without even glancing back to listen to what Ali and Cara were discussing and into my bedroom to find Leanne making a start on packing up her things.
“Didn’t realise you’d left the kitchen” I said kneeling down next to her and helping her by folding a couple of her tops and placing them neatly into her bag.
“Thought I’d make a start as I have work at half two so need to get a wriggle on, but before I do….” She stopped and pulled out a powder blue envelope from her bag and a small present,
“Happy 19thBirthday Anna”
I took the envelope and present off her with trembling hands, I had completely forgotten that it was my birthday, the worries of drifting away from Cara and the disconcerting dream of the previous night had driven it clean out of my mind. I ripped open the envelope and pulled out a large personalized card which had a picture of a meercat on it from the insurance adverts and in a speech bubble it read ‘Happy Nineteenth Birthday Anna.’
“It's lovely!” I said feeling choked up.
“Open your present!” Leanne enthused and no more encouragement was needed after that, I ripped off the paper to reveal a small square box. I lifted the lid to uncover a small ring which has small jewels all around it and two intertwining hearts in the centre.
“Its beautiful!” I sobbed, kissing Leanne tenderly.
“It’s a promise ring” she said taking the ring out of the box and grabbing my hand to slide the ring onto a finger.
“… And I promise to love and cherish you forever Annabella Hawman!”